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Public Health to solicit tobacco-free fair opinions

Staff with Lake County Public Health recently announced plans to launch a survey campaign soliciting public opinion on tobacco-free fairs.

Public Health staff will conduct a survey during this year’s fair weekend, gathering opinions from the general public at a tent that will be set up near the entrance to the food vendors at the Lake County Fairgrounds.

The staff will conduct the survey starting on Friday, Aug. 30, and continue through Sunday, Sept. 1.

Patrons 18 years and older are welcome to participate in the survey process.

“The Round-Up is an important event in Lake County,” said Lake County Public Health’s Tobacco Prevention and Education Coordinator Beth Hadley.  “The goal is to keep it family friendly and safe for all who attend.”

The survey is not unique to the local area by any stretch, as Hadley cited that five counties in the eastern Oregon region currently have smoke free or tobacco free policies in place.

Three other counties have such policies in the works, she said.

Following the indoor clean air act’s implementation in 2002, tobacco free or smoke free policies have become popular throughout the state in an effort to promote clean air and positive health behaviors, Hadley said.

Recognizing that some may resist such change, Hadley said that it’s nothing new, and follows current trends.

“Change is sometimes hard, but having a tobacco free event is not really a new idea,” she said. “Public school events and properties have been completely tobacco free for quite some time.”

According to the web site Smokefreeoregon.com, a survey at the 2009 Oregon State Fair determined 90 percent of respondents would return to the fair should it become smoke free.

Oregon passed an extensive law in January 2009 that barred smoking from workplaces, restaurants and bars.

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